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Kelowna First Nations celebrate

Bill Everitt

The Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society and local First Nations held a joint celebration in Kelowna on Lawrence Avenue for National Aboriginal Day.

It is the 40th anniversary of the Ki-Low-Na Friendship Society and although they were founded in January, they decided to hold the party in June to coincide with National Aboriginal Day. 

There was a traditional flattening of the grass ceremony to open the event, drumming, as well as food and crafts.

Edna Terbasket the executive director of KFS said the day was all about celebration of First Nations people.

"National Aboriginal Day to me is a day of celebration. It's a day to say, 'wow, this is really something to be proud of," she said. 

It's particularly important for her to pass this message to the younger generations. 

"There have been so many of our people in the past that have gone unrecognized from war veterans to survivors of scandals like the 60s Scoop, the residential schools, the Indian Act - we're still here and we're not going nowhere."

The event featured speakers from government such as MLA Steve Thomsen and city councillor Maxine DeHart.

Mayor Walter Gray did not attend. 

The celebrations wrap up around 6 p.m. this evening with a barbecue dinner. 

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